The Jeffreys Bay surf community, the local Council together with surf company Billabong have announced that a speciality surf contest will take place at Supertubes from 9 – 13 July 2013.
The contest will replace the Billabong Pro, which was downgraded from a World Tour event to a 6 star in 2012.
Local surf club, the JBU have been instrumental in organising an Extreme Sports Festival that will be be anchored by the JBay Open, presented by Billabong.
In its inaugural year this year, the contest will be presented as a Specialty Surfing Event, with an entry field of 64 surfers. There will also be a limited entry girls division. The contest organisers are set to make an announcement in the next few days about some possible secondary divisions to run concurrently within the main surfing event.
“It’s a bit unfortunate that this event is at such short notice, but we’re going to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make it work,” said JBU Club Chairman Arthur Joubert. “We’re confident that this competition will grow from strength to strength over the next few years and establish itself as a premier tournament on the surfing calendar.”
The tournament is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation (SASCOC) as the governing body of the sport in South Africa.
Other events being planned for the Festival are a Mountain Bike event, a downhill Skate event as well as a cold water open water swim, in which participants will not be allowed to wear wetsuits when swimming in sub 15 degree water.
Billabong South Africa General manager Ernest Bendeman is upbeat about the tournament. “In the absence of an ASP-rated event this year we would like to continue to support South African surfing,” said Bendeman. “This will ensure that the town of JBay has the opportunity to welcome surfers and visitors during the July School Holidays.”
It has been estimated that the Jeffreys Bay economy will lose around R 20 million with the cancellation of the Billabong Pro and an extreme sports festival, anchored by a locally organised surf event, will go a long way in ensuring the town will be able to survive the long winter months that lay ahead.